Definition of pulvilio in English:


(also pulvil)


mass nounhistorical
  • Perfumed cosmetic powder sprinkled on a wig or applied to the skin.

    • ‘I smelt the fop by his pulvilio from the balcony down to the street.’
    • ‘His periwig was struck off, and the whole room filled with pulvilio.’
    • ‘It was easy for the porter in Farquhar to pass for Beau Clincher, by borrowing his lace and his pulvilio.’
    • ‘Sir Ambrose rose up in considerable dismay at a clatter above his head which half blinded him with pulvilio and scattered feathers.’
    • ‘How many pounds of pulvil must the fellow use in sweetening himself from the smell of hops and tobacco?’
    dust, fine particles, fine grains
    View synonyms


Late 17th century: from Italian polviglio ‘fine powder’, from polve, polvere ‘powder’.